Acing the Initial Interview

I'm going to offer you a format and script that I have developed. It is a tried-and-true technique that can be used to make your initial interviews successful 95% of the time. This is a bold statement, but it is true. If done correctly, you will be successful in at least the initial interview, if not beyond. Remember, you're trying to sell yourself through to the next interview. That's all you're trying to do, so that you can be in the final group of people who are considered for the job.

There are two variations on this format. The second one is not quite as effective as the first one, but in some instances it might work. Always begin your interviewing process with the first one. It's going to get you to subsequent interviews 95% of the time. But, you have to execute this technique exactly the way I demonstrate. Practice with your coach.

Successful Technique No. 1

You walk into the interviewer's office or interviewing environment. You are rested, refreshed, prepared. You sit down, lean a bit forward, and after you share a few "break the ice" comments, you hand the hiring or interviewing authority your resume (even if he or she already has it) and state:

Phase 1: "Mr. or Ms._, I'm here to share with you why you should hire me."

"First of all, I am (ten or twelve descriptive adjectives to explain your work ethic): (transition phrase 1) "And here in my background is where these features have been benefits to the people that I have worked for:

Phase 2: "I am presently (...or most recently have been) at_______ company. I function for them in the capacity of__(a thorough description of exactly what you do, how you do it, who you do it for, and how successful you are—in terms a high-school senior could understand) (you then emphasize how much you love the job and the company, the reason you have to leave, or why you left...in very positive terms).

"And before that, I was at_______ company. There, I functioned in the capacity of_(a thorough description of exactly what you did, how you did it, who you did it for, and how successful you were...in terms a high-school senior could understand) (you then emphasize how much you loved that job and why you had to leave it...in very positive terms).

"And before that, I was at_______ company. There I functioned in the capacity of_(a thorough description of exactly what you did, how you did it, who you did it for, and how successful you were...in terms a high-school senior could understand)_______ (you then emphasize how much you loved that job and why you had to leave it ... in very positive terms)."

"And before that, I was at_______ company. There I functioned in the capacity of_______ (a thorough description of exactly what you did, how you did it, who you did it for, and how successful you were . . . in terms a high-school senior could understand_______ (you then emphasize how much you loved that job and why you had to leave it . . . in very positive terms)."

Continue in this manner for at least three jobs, if you have that many. If you've had a series of short stints at jobs, like one year or less, you may want to go back further than three jobs.

(transition phrase 2) "Now, tell me, Mr. or Ms._, how does what

I have to offer stack-up with what you are looking for?"

Phase 3 : ( You now pull out a legal pad, unless of course you have one in front of you already. Start asking questions of the interviewer and start taking notes. If you do this correctly, one question will lead to another question, which will lead to another question, which will lead to a conversation which is exactly what you want).

It is in this part of the interview that you are going to get the questions that I have outlined in subsequent chapters.

You need to practice these with your coach. Practice the whole interview technique every time you go to answer different questions. You have to practice a lot—it doesn't come naturally.

(As the conversation progresses, the hiring or interviewing authority is going to tell you more of what he or she is looking for in an individual. As this unfolds, you weave into the conversation any of the important information that pertains to the job that you extract and expand upon the information about where you have been, what you have done, and how you did it in the second portion of your presentation).

As the conversation/interview winds down, when you feel the time is appropriate, you say:

Phase 4: "Based on what we have discussed here, Mr. or Ms._, my_(background, experience, or potential)_makes this a good fit for both of us. What do I need to do to get the job?" (Then be quiet and don't say a word).

Now, the conversation may evolve into a number of different directions. If you have to repeat your enthusiasm and interest in the position, you may have to push harder and repeat the fact that you are an ideal candidate for the job and you have to know what you need to do to get it.

 
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